NFL Thanksgiving Games: 5 Players That Could Win Turkey Leg Awards

NFL Thanksgiving Games: 5 Candidates To Win Turkey Leg Awards

1 of 7

5 Players Who Could Win Turkey Leg Awards on Thanksgiving

@HODBowl
@HODBowl

Thanksgiving is a holiday all about traditions. 'Turkey Awards' are part of the NFL Thanksgiving tradition. It all started back in 1989 when John Madden helped to create the Turkey Leg Award. He was working for CBS at the time and after five years there, Madden went to FOX where the award continued until 2001.

So what is a Turkey Leg Award? It's basically a Thanksgiving game MVP award. Since 2001, it's been replaced by the 'Galloping Gobbler Award' on FOX. (Not near as cool.)

Check out this excerpt from a piece written by Madden that was published on the Chicago Tribune's website back in 2001, where he talks about the origin of the Turkey Leg Award:

"Another tradition is the Turkey Leg Award, which goes to the most valuable player on Thanksgiving Day. It started out just for fun in 1989. We gave the first one to Reggie White. He was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles and they beat Dallas 27-0. But a typical turkey has only two legs. What if you have more MVPs? What if it's the whole offensive line? Obviously you need more legs on the turkey. So then we started "creating" turkeys with more legs. We made four-legged turkeys, six-legged turkeys, eight-legged turkeys."

Historical Winners of the award: 1989 - Reggie White, 1990 - Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, 1991 - Barry Sanders, 1992 - Emmitt Smith and Cowboys' Offensive Line, 1993 - Richard Dent, 1994 - Emmitt Smith and Jason Garrett, Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe, 1995 - Herman Moore, Brett Perriman, Johnnie Morton, 1996 - Emmitt Smith, 1997 - Luther Ellis, 1998 - Randy Moss, 1999 - Gus Frerotte, Greg Hill, Johnnie Morton, Robert Porcher, 2000 - Robert Smith, Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, Cris Carter, 2001 - Brett Favre and Ahman Green.

Even though the original Turkey Leg Awards don't exist anymore, I thought it would be a good idea to bring them back in 2013. Here are five players from the NFL Thanksgiving day games that could win themselves a turkey leg:

2 of 7

Calvin Johnson

Andrew-Weber-USA-TODAY-Sports
Andrew-Weber-USA-TODAY-Sports

After an awful play to end the Lions' week 12 game with the Buccaneers, Megatron will be out to totally redeem himself. Look for the game's best wide receiver to have a banner day against the Packers' 20th ranked pass defense.

3 of 7

Ben Roethlisberger

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Big Ben has been on a tear as of late. Over the last four games he's tossed 11 touchdowns to only three interceptions. The Steelers' can get back to .500 with a key road win against the Ravens and it might boil down to Roethlisberger stepping up and getting the job done.

4 of 7

Matthew Stafford

Andrew-Weber-USA-TODAY-Sports
Andrew-Weber-USA-TODAY-Sports

Stafford will be trying to rebound after a tough four-interception performance in week 12. If he can get back on his game on Thanksgiving, the Lions will be back firmly in control of the NFC North.

5 of 7

Terrell Suggs

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Suggs has been very good in 2013, racking up nine sacks so far on the season. The Ravens defense has come on strong as of late, and Suggs will be leading the way against Pittsburgh for the NFL's leading pass-rush (T-1st, 37 sacks).

6 of 7

Tony Romo

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Look for Romo to have a field day against the Raiders' 25th ranked pass defense. The Dallas QB is having a tremendous season and if the Cowboys are going to win the NFC East, he'll have to continue to carry them.

7 of 7

Winning

Debby-Wong-USA-TODAY-Sports
Debby-Wong-USA-TODAY-Sports

Even though the original Turkey Leg Awards were hypothetical, Tom Brady showed us that dreams can become reality in 2012.


Around the Web